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Retrial underway over Cleveland fire that killed 9

Associated Press

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CLEVELAND: Attorneys for both sides have laid out their cases to open the retrial of a man charged in a Cleveland fire that killed a woman and eight children at a birthday sleepover.

A prosecutor said Tuesday that Antun Lewis maliciously set the blaze in May 2005, but a defense attorney argued Lewis had no motive to do that.

Lewis won a new trial based on unreliable prosecution testimony from jailhouse informants. Some informants will be called again to testify.

The Plain Dealer reports the defense plans to call different jailhouse informants who could cast doubt on other informants’ testimony.

Authorities say Lewis was upset over a drug debt and dumped gasoline to set the fire.

The 29-year-old Lewis maintains his innocence. He could face life in prison if convicted.


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